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      04-24-2014, 09:56 PM   #1
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Selling Nature/Travel Photos

I have been thinking about selling some photos either online or in person (or both) and was wondering if you guys have any tips on doing so. It's just something on the side for fun. I'm not an expert at taking photos but every now and then I take a photo or two that I think would look nice blown up and framed.

Have you guys done that or can you provide any tips/advice on the topic? I understand it is very tough but I'm just doing it for fun. Thanks in advance!
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      04-25-2014, 08:55 AM   #2
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The local university has an art fair every year (this weekend, in fact) where local artists come and set up tents and display their stuff. I went a few years ago and saw one guy who had lots of large prints of flowers where he used selective color to highlight just the flower and everything else was B&W. Simple Photoshop trick, but people seemed to like it and were oohing and aahing over his pics. I didn't hang around to see how many he sold.

The problem with selling like that is the big investment in printing, mounting, and framing. Then to recoup your money, you need to sell at somewhat high prices. Plus you spend your weekends traveling to art fairs and such to try to sell your images. Not sure it pays off.
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      04-25-2014, 09:06 AM   #3
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That is true about the upfront cost. I didn't think about that aspect. What about selling it online? Do people actually make a decent amount by selling stock photos?
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      04-25-2014, 02:07 PM   #4
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Stock photos are an incredibly lucrative but saturated market. Those that sucessfully sell rights to use stock photos are paid hundreds to thousands of dollars per photo (depending on usage). I've sold some stock photos to businesses as favors and have been paid pretty well for them. However, breaking into it is very difficult (I was only able to do it because i knew officers and or owners).

Photography is not something i've been able to quit my day job for unfortunately, but is a pretty fun way to make some good side income and definitely helps me justify my toy purchases

Stock photography is highly lucrative but has a ridiculously high barrier to entry, it is definitely a lot more time effecient that event photography. It's just way less fun.
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      04-25-2014, 08:20 PM   #5
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What's a popular stock photo site? And does it usualy work?
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      04-25-2014, 09:55 PM   #6
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The two most popular sites are iStock and Shutterstock. Go on there and read the forums to get some insight into the community and difficulties getting stuff noticed and sold. Not saying it's impossible, but it will definitely take a long ramp up time and commitment to build a portfolio that earns you any notable cash.

Go on both sites and look at the top photos, read their blogs, do some searches for different topics and take note of the amounts of search results. View some photos and look at their number of downloads, etc.

I have an account on iStock. I had to submit 3 photos and go through an approval process. I only ever uploaded one actual photo (the first three don't count, they are just for getting approved) and it's never had a sale. I dropped the ball on it when I realized, to make money doing stock photography, you have to shoot what is in demand. That may not always be what you want to shoot.

For me personally, it defeats the reason I do photography in the first place. It's the same reason I'd never want to do weddings. I don't want to shoot what someone tells me to shoot.

To make any half decent money from a popular stock photo site, you have to have thousands of photos that sell regularly. You have to be aware of what is in demand and shoot whatever that is, as good or better than the top guys already on there.

I suggest to check the sites out and see if it's something you'd be interested in. Then, if so, create an account and go through the approval process, and start uploading some content, and see how it plays out.
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      04-25-2014, 10:22 PM   #7
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^ I am with you. I do it for fun. It would be great to make a little extra cash on the side. However, if it turns into work it's no longer fun. It becomes a chore having to shoot what people what. I'm not sure if I'm okay with that.

Thank you for the insightful post though! I will look into it and see if it's worth giving a shot.
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